The microstructured reactor concept is very promising technology to develop a compact reformer for distributed hydrogen generation. In this work, a catalytic plate reactor (CPR) is developed and investigated for the coupling of methane combustion (MC) and methane steam reforming (MSR) over Pt/Al2O3-coated microchannels in cocurrent and counter-current modes in transient experiments during start-up. A three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation shows uniform velocity and pressure distribution profiles in microchannels. For a channel velocity from 5.1 to 57.3 m/s in the combustor, the oxidation of methane is complete and self-sustainable without explosion, blow-off, or extinction; nevertheless, flashbacks are observed in counter-current mode. In the reformer, the maximum methane conversion is 84.9% in cocurrent mode, slightly higher than that of 80.2% in counter-current mode at a residence time of 33 ms, but at the cost of three times higher energy input in the combustor operating at ∼1000 °C. Nitric oxide (NO) is not identified in combustion products, but nitrous oxide (N2O) is a function of coupling mode and forms significantly in cocurrent mode. This research would be helpful to establish the start-up strategy and environmental impact of compact reformers on a small scale.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering